This is a version of my interview with Emma Cousin for the excellent ELEPHANT website (showing some of the images in the show - for a fuller range of studio shots, see Elephant).
|Hot Ribena, 2018|
When I visit Emma Cousin’s small studio in Peckham ahead of her exhibition at Edel Assanti in London (5 July–15 August), it’s crowded with big paintings of precariously grouped figures. The show is titled Mardy—a Yorkshire term for ‘moody’ that catches the assertive and rather irreverent nature of the work. There’s also an echo of the Mardi Gras, which suits Cousin’s carnival of colourful figures acting out what she calls “the comedy of how the body works”. Cousin loves words: typically her works emerge from a colloquial phrase or saying which she explores through multiple drawings until she finds the form for a painting. The last step is to seek out a title which might, she says, “change the temperature” in the same way as a palette or gesture can.
|Bracken and Brown Adders, 2018, oil on canvas, 190 x 190 cm|
|Black Marigolds, 2018|